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Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2006 Mar;5(3):291-9. Epub 2005 Dec 16.

Stereochemical determination of chlorophyll-d molecule from Acaryochloris marina and its modification to a self-aggregative chlorophyll as a model of green photosynthetic bacterial antennae.

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Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan.


Acaryochloris marina is a unique photosynthetic prokaryote containing chlorophyll(Chl)-d as a major photoactive pigment (over 95%). The molecular structure of Chl-d is proposed as the 3-formyl analog of Chl-a. However, the stereochemistry of Chl-d at the 13(2)-, 17- and 18-positions has not yet been established unambiguously. In the first part of this paper, we describe the determination of their stereochemistries to be 13(2)-(R)-, 17-(S)- and 18-(S)-configurations by using 1H-1H NOE correlations in 1H-NMR and circular dichroism spectra as well as chemical modification of Chl-a to produce stereochemically defined Chl derivatives. In the second part of the paper, we report a facile synthesis of a self-aggregative Chl by modifying isolated Chl-d. Since Chl-d was characterized by its reactive 3-formyl group, the formyl group was reduced with t-BuNH2BH3 to afford the desirable Chl, 3-deformyl-3-hydroxymethyl-pyrochlorophyll-d (3(1)-OH-pyroChl-d). The synthetic 3(1)-OH-pyroChl-d molecules spontaneously self-organized to form well-ordered aggregates in a non-polar organic solvent. The self-aggregates are a good model of major light-harvesting antenna systems of green photosynthetic bacteria, chlorosomes, in terms of the following three findings. (1) Both the red-shifted electronic absorption band above 750 nm and its induced reverse S-shape CD signal around 750 nm were observed in 0.5% (v/v) THF-cyclohexane. (2) The stretching mode of the 13-carbonyl group was downshifted by about 35 cm(-1) from the wavenumber of its free carbonyl. (3) The self-aggregates were quite stable on titration of pyridine to the suspension, in comparison with those of natural chlorosomal bacteriochlorophyll-d possessing the 3-(1-hydroxyethyl) group.

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